TOP 30 PLAYERS TO WATCH
No. 7: Jon Rahm
After an impressive 2017, the sublime Spaniard seems destined for greatness
December 24, 2017
Jon Rahm's incredible eagle finish on the 72nd hole at Farmers
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Strap yourselves in because despite an incredible 2017 season from Jon Rahm, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
In his first full season, the young Spanish sensation made 21 of 23 cuts with the highlight being his back-nine blitz at Torrey Pines to take the Farmers Insurance Open title.
He had 11 top-10s in all with huge chances to win at the World Golf Championships–Mexico Championship (T3), the World Golf Championships–Dell Match Play (2nd), the Wells Fargo Championship (4th), the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational (T2) and all four FedExCup Playoff events where he finished T3, T4, T5 and T7.
Add the fact he won two events on the European Tour and you have quite a rockstar effort.
In June 2016, he was 766th in the world rankings. Now he’s comfortably in the top five.
Even with all the achievements, we expect even bigger things in 2018.
He has power off the tee and precision into the greens. His putting is better than most on TOUR. And he has desire and passion.
The 23-year-old hates to lose and will do whatever it takes to win. Aggression is his forte.
At Torrey Pines, the event looked headed for a multiple-man playoff until he shot 6-under 30 on the back nine -- including two eagles to crush the field.
In all his chances to win, he went down swinging. Rahm will never play for second place. This alone makes him fun to watch.
The goal for the new season has to be more of the same, but with better results in the majors. While his WGC efforts were grand, his best major effort was T27 at the Masters. He was T72 on debut at THE PLAYERS.
BY THE NUMBERS
How Jon Rahm ranked in Strokes Gained statistics during his last full season on the PGA TOUR.
Current 2017-18 position: 151st
Playoff appearances: 1
TOUR Championship appearances: 1
Best result: 5th
INSIGHTS FROM THE INSIDERS
PGATOUR.COM’s Insiders offer their expert views on what to expect from Jon Rahm in 2018.
TOUR INSIDER by Cameron Morfit
It’s going to be hard to top last season for the big-hitting 23-year-old from Spain, but we may be just beginning to understand how good he is. Consider how close he was to winning the entire FedExCup: Rahm finished fifth after registering top-10 finishes in all four Playoffs events. The only way to improve from here will be to turn some of those close calls (11 top-10 finishes, one win at the Farmers Insurance Open) into victories, and to show his “A” game at the majors.
FANTASY INSIDER by Rob Bolton
With proper respect to older 20-somethings who have won majors and achieved more, the Spaniard is in a class of his own. If it's possible for someone with lofty expectations to have already shattered them, he's the guy. He cannot be overvalued. As a first-year PGA TOUR member in 2016-17, he put up video-game numbers en route to ranking second in the all-around. Yet for all of his angles at which he can score and contend, perhaps most impressive is his blend of drive with humility sitting right out there on his sleeve. And he turned only 23 years of age just last month.
EQUIPMENT INSIDER by Jonathan Wall
Won the European Tour's season-ending DP World Tour Championship with a yet-to-be-released "Hi-Toe" TaylorMade Milled Grind wedge. His win with Spider Tour Red at the Farmers Insurance Open coincided with the putter's meteoric rise in popularity on TOUR. Rest of his TaylorMade setup consists of the company's M2 driver, M1 3-wood, P750 irons and Milled Grind wedges.
STYLE INSIDER by Greg Monteforte
As explosive as Rahm’s game is, his style is just the opposite as he has a penchant for simple looks with modern designs and high-tech fabrics. He could improve his style in 2018 by matching his belt to his pants to create a smooth transition from top to bottom.